Yanukovych For Simultaneous Parliamentary, Presidential Elections In Autumn

MOSCOW, Russia -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych believes that parliamentary and presidential elections should be held simultaneously, but no earlier than the autumn of 2007.

Ukraine's PM Viktor Yanukovych

Yanukovych said in an interview with Vesti-24 television on Sunday that he "definitely" supports the idea of holding simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections.

"But the process of electing presdient is so laid down in the constitution that it cannot be held simultaneously with the parliamentary elections today. It is a thing of the future. President Yushchenko is well aware of this, of course, and other politician understand this, too," he said.

Asked who of the Party of Regions will top the party list and run for president, Yanukovych said, "this question can only be answered in parliament."

"In my opinion, these elections are only possible in the autumn. October would be a realistic date. If this decision is made by the parliament, elections will naturally be held. Now who will top the lists? Everything is clear here.

The political parties have their leaders - highly rated politicians who will naturally be placed at the top of these lists," the prime minister said.

Yanukovych announced that he would meet with Yushchenko "through our mediators with whom we have always dealt - the secretariats of the Cabinet and of the president."

"I will propose that we come back to the format of the talks between working groups and then switch these talks to parliament at the level of factions.

We must be in a legal field, if early elections are discussed - and we are naturally discussing them today. We must prepare appropriate laws, which we can only do in parliament," he said.

"If the issue of elections is raised, elections will have to be financed. And the budget can only be amended by the parliament. This work will take some time," Yanukovych said.

Source: Interfax